“Note al mese di settembre 1870”

["Notes of the month of September 1870"]
Bullettino Meteorologico dell'Osservatorio del Collegio Romano
vol. 10, 1870
295 x 215 mm
Biblioteca Storica Centrale della Meteorologia Italiana, CREA-AA, Roma

On 20 September 1870 the Bersaglieri of the Italian Army entered Rome through the breach of Porta Pia , striking the Papal States to the heart: It is a moment that will determine a turning point in the political history of the country, but also in the personal and scientific life of Secchi, which will be hindered by the increasingly difficult relations between church and state. At the time of the breach of Porta Pia, the scientific activity of the Roman College Observatory continued incessantly, but Secchi was nonetheless part of the events of the city and recorded in his bulletin a concise and surprising testimony of the events of the day. In the prospectus of the meteorological measurements of the month of September 1870, visible on the page shown here, the day September 20 Secchi alternates the annotations on the meteorological time with the chronicle: Beautiful [weather], cannon shots in the morning, disgraceful until evening. The barometer is growing little. Unregular Magnets.
As said, the scientific activity at the Roman College Observatory continued regularly, despite the military and political events of those days. The meteorological Observations were never suspended and the data were regularly published on the Meteorological Bulletin of the Collegio Romano. On the 20th of September, the following values were recorded: maximum temperature 23.5 °c, minimum temperature 12.6 ° C; sky covered for 8/10 by Cirrus Strata at 7 a.m., became clear of clouds and kept good until the evening; No precipitation; Humidity in the morning 52%, at 3 p.m. 32%; Prevailing wind from the North.
The only serious drawback was the interruption of the Telegraph connections, so during those days the Roman College Observatory could not send any weather dispatch to Paris; correspondence with the International Meteorological service was resumed only as of October 25 of that year.

Maria Carmen Beltrano, CREA-AA
Luigi Iafrate - CREA-AA